Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to Choose What to Read Next

(photo CC

A few posts ago, I wrote about summer reading. There’s still time! I hope you’ve had a chance to read something really good, the kind of book that makes you read more slowly at the end to make it last, the kind of book you clutch to your chest when you’re done as if hugging an old friend.

(photo CC

Next comes the chore of deciding what to read next. Donald Latumahina gives some suggestions in this blog post.

I use Amazon, too, but use other sources more. In my line of work, I see reviews for books in library blogs, magazines, and newsletters. I keep a paper file and a computer file of titles that look promising. My main method of finding good books is one he didn’t mention—recommendations from friends. Why do the books friends suggest sound so much more appealing than those standing at attention on my shelf waiting to be read? I keep track of what I read on, another place to get suggestions.

(photo CC

Sometimes I’ll go on a binge and read everything by one author or stay with the same genre title after title. More often, I’ll mix it up—historical fiction, contemporary, mystery, non-fiction—enjoying the variety.

How do you choose what to read next? How do you find (as Latumahina says) "interesting books"? Remember this: Friends don’t let friends read bad books! Thanks to all you friends who share good books and good book titles with me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

For Better Air Travel

(photo the Lane Team)

We're heavy into the summer travel season. Most folks I know around here are traveling by car, and those traveling by plane dread it. Air travel, once so glamorous, is now cumbersome, inconvenient, and expensive. From long lines to charging for baggage and TSA confiscating hair mousse, air travel is for the birds!
(photo by jumpinjimmyjava)

What form of travel would be an improvement? Convenient, personal, fast? Inexpensive would be good. I've long dreamed of the Jetson's jetpacks, but they don't seem to be immediately forthcoming. But how about a flying car? You could pack it up, get in with the family, and go! This is not as far-fetched as you think, according to this MSNBC news story.
(photo by Torley)

This story brought to mind wonderful fictional flying cars! Who could forget Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels and inventor of unusual imaginary gadets? Or more recently, the flying car in the Harry Potter books? Can you think of others? What other modes of travel would you like to try?

Up, up, and away!
(photo Jack Ringer)